ANTH 2041 - Popular Culture: Passion, Style, Vibe

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

Popular culture today constitutes a vital arena in which people derive great pleasure and make meaning in their lives. Through the myriad forms of popular culture in everyday life people define, explore and experiment with their identity and the identity of their society. Through music, shopping, fashion and fandom people participate in contrasting strategies of living, building relations with others and society. The course investigates how theorists from a number of distinct academic disciplines have approached the issue of popular culture and mass consumption, and highlights what anthropology offers in terms of providing context-derived insights into distinct and discursive arenas of popular consumption and identity.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ANTH 2041
    Course Popular Culture: Passion, Style, Vibe
    Coordinating Unit Anthropology and Development Studies
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Incompatible ANTH 2022 or ANTH 3022
    Course Description Popular culture today constitutes a vital arena in which people derive great pleasure and make meaning in their lives. Through the myriad forms of popular culture in everyday life people define, explore and experiment with their identity and the identity of their society. Through music, shopping, fashion and fandom people participate in contrasting strategies of living, building relations with others and society. The course investigates how theorists from a number of distinct academic disciplines have approached the issue of popular culture and mass consumption, and highlights what anthropology offers in terms of providing context-derived insights into distinct and discursive arenas of popular consumption and identity.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Dianne Rodger

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1 Develop an understanding of the broad nature and theories of the anthropological analysis of popular culture
    2 Deepen knowledge of and insight into key issues concerning the study of popular culture in anthropology
    3 Obtain the ability to understand and apply key theoretical approaches to ethnographic representations of contemporary popular culture like music, shopping and art
    4 Develop the ability to critically evaluate central themes, propositions and concepts in the anthropology of popular culture
    5 Develop the skills to work collaboratively in teams as well as individually in a learning and research environment
    6 Foster an interest in and commitment to continuous learning and social scientific research
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3, 4, 6
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    All required resources for this course will be made available on MyUni. 

    Weekly essential and supplementary readings will be provided electronically and will be accessible at the beginning of semester. 

    Lecture materials (audio-recording and powerpoint slides) will be posted after each lecture. 

    No text books or other materials are required. 
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended resources will be provided electronically via MyUni or in-class (e.g. essay writing guides, writing in first person in Anthropology guide). 

    The library also has an excellent guide for Anthropology students which is recommended:
    Online Learning
    This course will make use of the online learning tool MyUni as a platform for learning in the course including; making announcements, providing an online discussion board, making all course material and assignments available (e.g. reading list, lecture recordings / powerpoints etc).

    All assessment tasks will be submitted (e.g. written work, group presentation) or completed (e.g. quiz) electronically via MyUni. 

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The learning and teaching mode for this course is based around weekly ‘themes’ where a specific topic is explored in both the readings and weekly lecture or other activity.

    Insights from the lecture / readings are further developed in two hour weekly workshops where students discuss the content and complete tasks (e.g. go on a tour of street art / public art, watch short documentaries / clips, engage in debates, work through questions in small groups, reflect on their own experience and so on). As such, workshop participation forms an essential part of this course.

    The learning mode in this course is influenced by active learning (learning through doing) with an emphasis on real-life scenarios and examples.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Contact Hours (Formal / Structured workload) = 3 Hours
    Lectures: 1 hour per week
    Workshop: 2 hours per week

    Research, reading and preparation for workshop and assessment (Unstructured work load): 

    Workshop preparation (reading): between 3-4 hours per week
    Preparation for assignments and reading supplementary readings: 5-7 hours per week (average)
    Learning Activities Summary
    Rough Lecture Plan / Weekly Themes 
    Note: This is a broad overview and the order of themes / topics covered may change. Check MyUni for the most up to date information.

    Week One - Introducing Popular Culture
    Week Two - Popular Consumption: from domination to resistance
    Week Three - From Text to Contexts: ethnographical approaches to popular cultural forms and global consumption
    Week Four -  Art on the Streets 
    Week Five - Shopping and Household Decoration
    Week Six - Subcultural expressions
    Week Seven - Fashion and Style
    Week Eight - Technology and Culture: emergent social forms
    Week Nine - Disposing Culture: popular objects in transition
    Week Ten - Fandom Group Project
    Week Eleven - Essay preparation
    Specific Course Requirements
    None - not applicable. 
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Small Group Discovery Experience is a core component in this course. A SGDE group project runs throughout the semester.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    The assessment for this course has four components:

    (1) Active participation
    (2) Quiz
    (3) Small Group Discovery Experience (Fandom Project)
    (4) Final Research Essay

    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Active Participation Formative and Summative


    10% 1-6
    Quiz Formative and Summative TBA (Before mid semester break) 15% 1-6
    Small Group Discovery Experience (Fandom Project) Formative and Summative TBA - End of semester  25% 1-6
    Final Research Essay  Summative TBA - End of semester 50% 1-6
    Active Participation: students engage in interactive in class activities and sharing of materials and information.

    Quiz: students complete a quiz that will cover key concepts learned in the early weeks of the course.

    Small Group Discovery Experience: students will work in small groups of 4-5 students to research a fan community that they select. Both the process (i.e. reflection on group work – 5%) and final product (video, oral presentation or power-point presentation – 20%) will be assessed. 25% total weighting.

    Final Research Essay: students will be required to write a research essay that addresses one of the course topics.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    There are no hurdle requirements for this course (e.g. you do not need to pass / submit each component to pass the course overall).
    Assessment Detail
    Active Participation - 10% of final mark

    • You are required to attend all workshops in this course unless you have an access plan or provide an appropriate explanation (see below).

    • Missing three workshops without legitimate explanation (i.e. medical certificate, clear communication with course tutor) or making up your participation with a summary will result in failure (zero grade) for this component.

    • You should prepare for the workshop by thinking about the provided weekly workshop discussion prompts located in the Lecture and Workshop schedule below. You do not have to hand in your answers or write them up – but please do think through the questions as you do the readings. This preparation will count towards your participation grade.

    • Participation means being actively involved in discussions and demonstrating knowledge of the readings. Keep in mind that asking questions about confusing concepts in readings or questioning the writer’s argument are excellent ways of getting involved. You should not solely rely on the course tutor to generate discussion. Marking criteria for workshop participation is provided on MyUni.

    • Making up participation: If you are unable to attend a workshop and do not have a medical certificate etc. you can make up your participation for that week by submitting a 500 word summary of a weekly reading or a 500 word answer to a discussion prompt for that week.

    These summaries must be emailed to the course co-ordinator in the relevant week (i.e. in the week that you missed). You will only be able to submit two make-up summaries for the semester unless you have special circumstances that are approved by the course co-ordinator in advance. Summaries will not be accepted at the end of semester (i.e. after teaching period).

    Remember that the quality of this summary will count towards your participation (i.e. does the summary reflect engagement with the weekly themes and appropriate effort?).

    Due Date: Workshop participation is ongoing.

    Quiz– 15% of final mark

    Online quiz conducted on MyUni. Questions will cover content from the lectures and essential readings from the early weeks of the course. Further information about the quiz will be provided closer to the due date.

    Due Date: TBA

    Small Group Discovery Experience (Fandom Project) – 25% of final mark

    • Early in the semester you will be placed in a group of 4-6 people. If you have a preference for your group membership I will try to accommodate this.

    • You will work with your group members throughout the semester to research a ‘fan’ community.

    • You will be given time during workshops to meet with your group and to work on your project.

    • You will also have one individual session with me to discuss your ideas and ask any questions. 

    • All components of the group project will be assessed as a group (i.e. same mark to all members of the group).

    • There are two key parts 1) Group Charter and Project Plan (5%) and 2) Final Group Project (20%).

    • Further information about the group project is provided on My Uni. The project will also be discussed at length in workshops.

    Due Dates: TBA

    Final Research Essay - 50% of final mark

    All students will submit a research essay at the end of the semester. Essay questions, instructions, and marking criteria will be provided on My Uni.

    Word Length: 2200 words
    Due Date: TBA

    All written assignments must be submitted electronically via Turnitin using the MyUni website.

    There will be no extensions for any assessment tasks (e.g. quizzes, group presentations, written assignments) without adequate documentation. You must seek extensions before the due date. Communication with your course co-ordinator or tutor is critical!

    Note: If you have an access plan the rules for extensions are different. You should discuss with your course co-ordinator or tutor at the beginning of semester.

    All students are encouraged to read through the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy: for further information about the extensions procedure.

    In brief, you need to submit an Application for Assessment Extension form BEFORE the due date and with the relevant supporting documentation that applies to your situation.

    In many cases this involves getting a suitable person (i.e. medical practitioner, counsellor) to fill out a section of the form. A medical certificate alone is insufficient. Please remember to bring a copy of the form if you have an appointment with a GP etc.

    A copy of the form can be downloaded here and will also be available on My Uni:;field=data;id=7446;m=view

    Here are some of the important details:

    • Modified Arrangements will not be granted for Circumstances such as, but not limited to, the following (see clause c):
    i. balancing workloads from other units of study, disciplines or faculties;
    ii. personal commitments or events such as international travel, holidays or weddings;
    iii. temporary minor ailments such as colds, minor respiratory infections, headaches or minor gastric upsets;
    iv. stress or anxiety normally associated with examinations, required assessment tasks or any aspect of course work;
    v. misreading or misunderstanding of the examination timetable.

    • Course co-ordinators can only give extensions of 10 business days. Longer time frames need to be approved by the Head of School.

    Late Penalties:
    2 marks will be deducted from late work if it is not received/completed by the advised time on the due date.

    You will be penalised a further 2 marks for each additional day that the work is overdue.

    Assessment tasks that are more than 7 days overdue will not be graded and will receive a zero mark.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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